Mr. Denby to Mr. Olney.

No. 2652.]

Sir: In my dispatch No. 2645, of November 24 last, I inclosed a copy of a communication which was sent by me to the Tsung-li Yamên, embodying a demand for the punishment of the delinquent Kutien officials [Page 69] and also for the payment of damages to Miss Mabel C. Hartford. I have the honor to inclose herewith a translation of the Yamên’s answer to my communication. It will be seen that the Yamên declines to pursue the matter of punishing the officials any further. It denies, in general, the statement that no official has been punished.

I await your instructions as to further action.

I have informed the Yamên that the damages awarded to Miss Mabel C. Hartford can be paid by the Foochow authorities to the vice-consul, W. C. Hixson, and that a translation of their dispatch has been sent to you, and that further instructions are awaited by me.

I have informed the vice-consul at Foochow that the money will be paid to him, and have directed him to receive it and to pay it to Miss Hartford, taking duplicate receipts and sending one to this legation.

I have, etc.,

Charles Denby.
[Inclosure in No. 2652.]

The Tsung-li Yamên to Mr. Denby.

Your Excellency: Upon the 23d instant the princes and ministers had the honor to receive a communication from the minister of the United States, stating that you had been instructed by your Government to bring to the attention of the Yamên some facts connected with the antiforeign riots which occurred at Kutien on the 1st day of August, 1895, and to demand that cognizance be taken of the conduct of the officials with regard to the same, and that proper and suitable punishments be decreed against them; that Mr. Consul Hixson’s report on the riots mentioned was not received until recently; that it is known to the Yamên that the Government of the United States delegated two gentlemen—the American consul at Foochow, Mr. Hixson, and Commander Newell, of the United States Navy—to go to Kutien as commissioners to be present at the trials of the criminals who were engaged in the riots and to investigate all the matters connected therewith, and the facts, as presented by Commander Newell, are submitted to the Yamên, with the statement that the charges made by him against the officials are all repeated by Consul Hixson in his official report; that Commander Newell proceeds to charge certain officials with misconduct, as stated.

The minister of the United States further states that in connection with this case he is also instructed by the honorable Secretary of State to demand damages for Miss Mabel Hartford, an American citizen, who was injured, and for loss of property she sustained, etc.

In reply, the princes and ministers have the honor to state that on the 22d of November, 1895, a memorial from the viceroy at Foochow was received and presented to His Majesty the Emperor, stating that the Kutien case had been settled, that twenty and more of the chief offenders had suffered the death penalty by decapitation, and twenty more other offenders whose offenses were not of so grave a character had also been punished—some to banishment to the frontier military posts and others to imprisonment for life in the jails of various magistrates.

As to Fang Yu-te, Wang Ju-lin, and Wang Yu-yang, mentioned in Commander Newell’s report as being guilty of culpable neglect in the discharge of their duty as local officials, it may be stated that these men have all been denounced to the Throne and degraded. It can not be said that of the local authorities not one has been punished. The [Page 70] action taken by China in this case has certainly been with a view to bringing about a satisfactory arrangement in a friendly way; no effort has been spared to act in good earnest.

Futhermore, it is a year since the case was settled, and it is not convenient now to pursue the matter any further.

It is right that the claim of Miss Hartford, amounting to $1,880 (Mexican money), for injuries and loss of property, should be paid as claimed.

The princes and ministers beg that the minister of the United States will inform the Yamên where the money is to be paid, so that instructions may be sent to the authorities at Foochow to act accordingly in the matter. In sending this reply the princes and ministers beg that the minister of the United States will transmit a copy of this communication to the honorable Secretary of State.